Premier League

Premier League storylines to watch out for: Gameweek 8

Tom Gott
Premier League Gameweek 8 has some interesting stories
Premier League Gameweek 8 has some interesting stories / Robin Jones | Ricardo Moreira | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

We had no Gameweek 7 and Gameweek 8 has already lost three matches, but there are still seven Premier League games going ahead this weekend.

Four of the division's top-seven sides won't be in action amid concerns over policing shortages, however there is no shortage of excitement and curiosity as we head into the upcoming round of fixtures.

Here's one storyline to look out for in each game.

1. Aston Villa's goalkeeper crisis

Emiliano Martinez
Martinez has been unwell / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Aston Villa have three senior goalkeepers and there's a chance none of them make it to Friday's meeting with Southampton.

Emiliano Martinez missed training on Thursday after picking up an illness, while Robin Olsen also sat out with a knee injury. Third-choice Jed Steer hasn't been seen for a while because of an Achilles injury.

While Gerrard is optimistic that Martinez will make it, 19-year-old Filip Marschall is being lined up for a possible debut. He's highly rated at the club and spent half of last season on loan in the National League North with Gateshead.

2. Fulham vs The New Fulham

Steve Cooper
Forest are still looking to prove themselves / Tony Marshall/GettyImages

Nottingham Forest signed 22 senior players this summer, marking their return to the Premier League with significant spending and a massive squad overhaul that has yielded mixed results thus far.

They're up against a Fulham side who know all about the perils of that very scenario.

Fulham recruited 15 players in the summer of 2018/19, but ended up going through three different managers and falling to relegation in early April. Forest will be keen to show they're built different.

3. Diego Costa's return

Diego Costa
Costa is back in England / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The striker equivalent of marmite, the Premier League's favourite pantomime villain is back in England.

Diego Costa has signed on with Wolves as an emergency free agent signing following an injury to Sasa Kalajdzic, and it's now up to Bruno Lage to decide how big of a role the former Chelsea man plays against Manchester City.

Costa's ruthless streak in front of goal may be fading but his love of a scrap is as strong as ever. City's centre-backs could be in for a rough afternoon.

4. The Eddie Howe derby

Eddie Howe
Howe could do with a win / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Eddie Howe's former employers will visit his current home on Saturday when Newcastle host Bournemouth.

The two sides boast vastly different budgets and expectations for the future, yet they are level on seven points after six games. Howe knows that isn't good enough from the richest team on the planet.

Newcastle haven't won in the Premier League since they saw off Forest on opening weekend, and the pressure will start to mount if that run continues.

5. Brendan Rodgers' last chance?

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers is under immense pressure / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Speaking of managers facing pressure, the weight on Brendan Rodgers' shoulders right now must be enormous.

Leicester are stuck at the bottom of the Premier League with just one point from their first six games and have conceded more goals than any other side apart from Bournemouth, who shipped half of their 18 goals in one game against Liverpool.

The next test for the Foxes is a Tottenham side looking to bounce back from European disappointment in midweek. One more poor result may just bring the curtain down on the Rodgers era.

6. Arsenal to right last season's wrongs

Christian Norgaard
Brentford stunned Arsenal last year / Eddie Keogh/GettyImages

Arsenal kicked off last season with an utterly humiliating 2-0 defeat away at Brentford. They were bullied by Ivan Toney - something we now know isn't that rare of an occurrence - and tumbled into a short-lived turmoil as a result.

Just over a year later and Mikel Arteta will take his table-topping team back to the scene of the crime in the hope of proving just how far they have come.

While Brentford, and Toney in particular, are flying to start the season, Arsenal will want a confident victory to prove they have banished the demons of last season's defeat.

7. Battle of the slumps

David Moyes, Frank Lampard
Moyes & Lampard are both struggling / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

We end the round with two sides in desperate need of a victory, Everton and West Ham. It's a relegation six-pointer very few expected.

The two sides are level on four points towards the bottom of the table, with West Ham's inferior goal difference keeping them in the relegation zone, but at least the Hammers have actually won a match this season.

Frank Lampard's Toffees join Leicester as the only two sides yet to secure a victory this season. One of those slumps could be ending soon.